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New Mexico Increases Funding for Early Childhood and Passes Home Visiting Accountability Act
Financing, Home Visiting, Child Care, Financing
Source Of Information:
ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates
In April 2013, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed into law a bill that provides $9.75 million in tobacco settlement dollars for early childhood services. The money will be divided: $2 million to home visiting; $2 million to increase child care assistance rates for 3-, 4-, and 5-STAR early care and education programs; and $5.75 million to New Mexico PreK. An analysis of the legislation estimated that 500 to 600 more families will receive home visiting services; one-third of the state’s 1,035 licensed early care and education programs will receive higher reimbursement rates; and 1,500 to 1,700 more 4-year-olds will receive PreK services.
The governor also signed the Home Visiting Accountability Act, which creates a framework for standards-based home visiting, ensuring a level of quality and consistency in home visiting programs across the state. The legislation requires that state money only be used to fund home visiting programs that meet the standards outlined in the Act and aim to improve the health, well-being, and self-sufficiency of eligible families. The Act defines home visiting programs as those that use home visiting as a primary service delivery strategy and that offer services on a voluntary basis to expectant parents and parents of children from birth to kindergarten entry.
Home visiting programs must do two or more of the following: • Improve prenatal, maternal, infant, or child health outcomes including preterm births; • Promote positive parenting practices; • Build healthy parent and child relationships; • Enhance children’s social-emotional and language development; • Support children’s cognitive and physical development; • Improve the health of eligible families; • Provide resources and support that may help to reduce child maltreatment and injury; • Increase children’s readiness to succeed in school; and • Improve coordination of referrals for, and the provision of, other community resources and supports for eligible families. The Children, Youth and Families Department and providers of home visiting services are required to jointly develop an outcomes measurement plan to monitor outcomes for children and families receiving home visiting services by November 1, 2013. Beginning January 1, 2014, the department must deliver an annual outcomes report to the governor, legislature, and Early Learning Advisory Council.